The five-year plan will see the Virginia Tech research center, headed by Stefan Duma (http://www.sbes.vt.edu/duma.php), rate helmets worn by hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse athletes in their ability to lessen the likelihood of a concussion resulting from a violent head impact.
Ratings on hockey helmets are expected in fall 2013, followed by youth football in 2015, and then baseball, softball, and lacrosse in 2016. During that time, all ratings for adult and youth football helmets will continually be updated and released to the public.
The expansion into helmeted sports other than football comes on the heels of new research that allows for better prediction of sports-related concussions resulting from linear and rotational head accelerations. These accelerations result from head impacts that cause the head to translate and twist about the neck. The new research is published this month in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (http://www.editorialmanager.com/abme/).
The new research is being funded by Virginia Tech, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (http://www.ictas.vt.edu/) at Virginia Tech.
New ratings for football helmets will include data for linear and rotational accelerations starting in 2015, said Duma, professor of biomedical engineering and department head of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Serving as lead author on the research paper is Steven Rowson (http://www.cib.vt.edu/people/bios/faculty_bios/bio_rowson.html), assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech.
“All head impacts result in both linear and rotational accelerations, and this publication provides the foundation for our research to address both accelerations relative to reducing the risk of concussion,” said Duma. “Our goal with the five-year plan is to provide manufacturers with a schedule detailing when we will release helmet ratings for each sport.”
The helmet rating system is based on more than a decade of data collection by Duma and his research staff, and utilizes the STAR, or Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk, formula that assesses the ability of football helmets to reduce concussion risk. Sport-specific testing methodologies will be added to the website that lists the rated helmets prior to the initial release of each sport’s helmets ratings.
Using data collected from more than 63,000 head impacts during a period of 10 years, Duma and Rowson related linear and rotational head acceleration to the probability of sustaining a concussion in the form of an injury risk function.
“This new analysis utilizes data measured from 62 concussions sustained by high school, college, and professional football players,” said Rowson. “We use these data to determine the best method to predict concussions when we test helmets in our laboratory.” In their research paper, the researchers write, “With as many as 3.8 million sports-related concussions occurring annually in the United States and research suggesting possible long term neurodegenerative processes resulting from repetitive concussions, reducing the incidence of concussion in sports has become a public health priority.”
Indeed, long-term, repetitive injuries that can cripple or eventually kill years after play have prompted dozens of headlines in major media outlets and several national studies, and even President Obama to recently weigh in on the subject. Dozens of former NFL players are suing the league over injuries sustained during years of play, and headlines were made this summer when former football great Alex Karras died at age 77 from various ailments, several allegedly said to be caused by years of hard hits.
In studying football-related injuries during the past decade, Duma and his research team have used on-field real-time sensors installed in the helmets of hundreds of adult and youth football players to study injuries, as well as a mechanical lab-tested 5-star rating system to track and grade commercially sold helmets.
The former can help indicate head injuries that require immediate attention while on the field of play. The latter has provided the only independent biomechanical data for consumers to make helmet purchasing decisions, Duma said.
Duma’s goal is not to end the sport of football, but make it safer while still keep the same expected adrenaline rush and action for players, and viewers.
“It is important to note that no helmet can prevent all concussions. The most effective strategies to reduce concussions in sports involve modifying league rules and player technique to limit exposure to head impacts,” Duma said.
“Beyond this, head impacts are a given in sport. Our research focuses on identifying helmets that reduce concussion risk so that athletes can make informed decisions based on independent data when purchasing equipment, which in turn, incentivizes helmet manufacturers to design helmets that better reduce head acceleration.”
Steven Mackay | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences